We are not the saviours of the world but we can recreate new situations.

Lina is a Lebanese Architect who works on user experience and creates buildings like a “living organism” that reacts, breathes, and questions its surroundings. She’s an architect who has an emphatic position where you can project into other’s personalities and vision to define the filtered user type.

She speaks to identify “the power of architecture“ to reflect on the past to inform the future. By the relation of spaces and the lifestyle you choose is reshaped by the accumulation of deep memories and knowledge one has. Her design disciples intended to be around Anthropology geography, Sociology, Human sciences, and Art due to her interest in archaeology her architecture style is influenced by the process involved in archaeology which gives her a complete humane approach also known as “Archaeology of the future” and inspires her to dig deep into processes to achieve a Rational output.

Architecture is a critical way, where it takes the environment and the dynamics of faith together to find a structure that blends with the environment, something you live with which draws you all the time. It transports you into a different room that is into human-environment relationships which also opens up to different relationships between the people creating an orchestrating inter-relationship social scale.

Rotunda Urban Centre by Lina Ghotmeh: City's Kaleidoscope Sheet1
THE HUMANIST ARCHITECT Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture | Interview. Maja Magazine

“We cannot ignore the earth anymore along with the climatic changes that we are living, we are witnessing the change of climate and the needs of the population that are demonstrating all around the world, all I think is that designers have a very big role, together we have to empower ourselves with new tools and try to impact society and bring them about the change of course, we also need to be aware of what we can’t solve in this world but we have to make an impact and produce change and instigate another way of making and doing things that are more sustainable.”

 – Lina Ghotmeh

Rotunda Urban Center – City’s Kaleidoscope [Re-equip of Intervention]

One of Lina’s most beautiful and utilitarian projects is the rotunda urban centre. The rotunda is located in the center of Warsaw, also known as the City’s  Kaleidoscope. The design is based on the process called “Excavation and Intervention”. This strategy aims to reconstruct old buildings by carefully integrating various architectural elements while sustaining and celebrating the unique character of the existing building.

Rotunda Urban Centre by Lina Ghotmeh: City's Kaleidoscope Sheet1
AERIAL VIEW OF ROTUNDA URBAN CENTER Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture | Works

It is an opportunity to connect all of Warsaw’s life and opens up the possibility of a radical and contemporary understanding of the energy of this cultural center. One of the most famous popular spots in Warsaw and a popular meeting place in the city center for more than 50 years.

The aim of the investor PKO BP is to preserve its legacy and provide sustainable public space and modern buildings to the city’s residents. After selection by architects Gowin & Suita as part of the international competition “Changing the Face Rotunda Warsaw 2013”, Collaboration on Design of Mechanical Systems, Sustainability Team selected to lead BREEAM and LEED certifications, public surveys of city dwellers, urban planners and PKO BP -Customers as well as additional sustainability studies, including building modelling.

The new design takes into account the preservation of the size and form of the building and the restoration of its original character: lightness, translucency, availability and transparency. The development of the new building of the Rotunda PKO Bank Polski began in 2017. A great need with the promise to reduce waste and create connections was the core philosophy of Lina Ghotmeh.

Introduction of several new technologies such as:

1. Installation of Ceiling video projectors

The vaulted ceiling provides information about current events in Warsaw. Several projections form a kaleidoscope of patterns and compositions, so the ceiling can be seen from all directions. The building retains its original structure, but at the same time benefits from a new roof strategy. The building suddenly took on a new look.

2. Cultural Bank and Polski Bank

The mezzanine floor has a multifunctional public area dedicated to reporting on cultural events, discussions and exhibitions in Warsaw. The information, noise and city records of the roundabout are older and can replace the city interface. The mezzanine will be directly accessible from the new public connection to expand the subway crossing. This space is multifunctional, with an open bar and an area for discussions, exhibitions or events. Banks and public spaces are two programs with different characteristics. Then, on the reconstructed basement floor, a separate entrance will be reserved, with a bench that can be accessed from the three existing openings in the street, as well as the technical components and service rooms.

3. Connections 

The topography that’s supposed to surround the intervention can play a role in redefining the area, first of all by having the assorted functions exist despite their difference and having separate access points, and second, the general public area leaning over the one who is at the rotunda, it permits you to seamlessly connect with the public space below. Here the notion of dirt is lost once the bottom multiplies through the interconnected tracks that come to the city. The accessibility of the “kaleidoscope of the city” is widespread, and Warsaw residents who return by public transport, each shopper and wandering dreamers, are invited to attach and roll up their spaces.

4. Leed Certification

The building’s energy potency and overall performance are considerably improved by sealing the building envelope and creating the within airtight and vapour-proof against scale back the energy required to heat and cool the building. A double-glazed façade can change a high thermal and acoustic insulation level, an automatic blind system will stop excessive solar irradiation within the summer period. 

LED  lighting will be used to reduce energy consumption. Photovoltaic panels may be put in on the roof of the rotunda while not being visible from the road level. using the LEED principles, it will maximize the efficiency of the operations whereas minimizing the impact on the environment.

Rotunda Urban Centre by Lina Ghotmeh: City's Kaleidoscope Sheet2
FLASHING INTERIORS  Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture | Works

Abstraction

The result of the competition assisted to understand a deep-rooted vernacular echo which is an identified persona in the projects of Lina, she always aspired to use most of the materials that are developed with local artisans – a vernacular technique reinvented to bridge the past with the future. The hand regains its value in the making of the architecture and a more intense emotional realm shared with the citizens becomes possible. 

The building and its making became a kind of collective healing process. In this scenario, in the urban center, we may not see the most vernacular aspects but the sensitivity to the environment is what is admirable and respected.

References

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IMAGES

IMAGE 1 : THE HUMANIST ARCHITECT Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture | Interview. Maja Magazine

IMAGE 2 :AERIAL VIEW OF ROTUNDA URBAN CENTER Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture | Works

IMAGE 3 : FLASHING INTERIORS  Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture | Works

Author

With a cryptic perspective and ambivert personality, Simran is a student of B.Arch, who beliefs in reverie as escapism to bring solutions to realism. Besides, she says Architecture is not a domain limited to buildings however it’s an art that’s so far evident in every entity in this world, she also intends to explore more with her perceptions.

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